Somaliland protests Qatar arms aid to Somalia, demands scrutiny

By Fauxile Kibet

Somaliland has protested Qatari’s donation of armoured vehicles to Somalia demanding the process be subjected to scrutiny.

Somaliland Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Yasin Hagi Mohammed in the letter to the Security Council president Fransisco Antonio Cortorreal questioned last week’sarms donation to Somalia by Qatar.

Mr Mohammed’s letter comes after Kenyan police reports indicated that guns used by terrorists in a recent attack at a hotel complex in a Nairobi suburb belonged to the Somali government.

He said that any diversion of weapons donations to the terrorists operating inside Somalia amounted to a violation of the current arms embargo – which poses a security threat to Somaliland and neighboring countries.

“Violating the UN Security Council resolution will escalate the protracted conflict with devastating consequences for Somalia and fuel further instability across the region including Somaliland,” Mr Mohammed said.

Somalia Defense Minister Hassan Ali Mohamed (Amar-dambe) and Somali chief of defence Forces Dahir Adan Elmi (Indhaqarshe) officially received the armoured vehicles from Qatari officials last Thursday. Mogadishu has maintained close ties with Qatar which has remained shunned by the Saudi-led faction in the ongoing Gulf Crisis.

RESOLUTION 2444

The minister said that the United Nations’ resolution 2444 prohibits transfer of weaponry saying that most of the weapons donated to Somalia end up in the various terrorist organizations operating in Somalia.

“The supply or sale of weapons and defense material and related efforts to build the capacity of Somalia’s security services is well-intentioned but imprudent, as weapons and military equipment are routinely transferred to clan militias and terrorist groups,” the statement read in part.

Somaliland maintains close relations with UAE, a rival of Qatar which is currently building a naval base in Somaliland and last year announced further military support to Hargeisa following rocky relations between Mogadishu and Abu Dhabi.

The United Nations has in the past warned that military equipment purchased or donated to the Somali Federal government, were being diverted to terror groups.

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